Temple of Heaven (Tiantan)|Altar of Heaven is located in the southeastern part of Beijing and south of the Forbidden City. It was established in 1420. It was used to hold the memorial ceremonies for Heaven by emperors in different dynasties. The total area covers 273 hectares and is larger than the Forbidden City.
The emperors of ancient China always called themselves the sons of God. They worshipped the Universe and the Earth, so the ceremony for the Universe used to be ranked above other national affairs each year.
The Temple of Heaven was built in the late period of China’s feudalistic society, and is representative of Chinese ceremony architecture, the essence and pearl of Chinese ancient architecture, and the gem in the world architecture history. The design of the temple emphasizes the expansion and space of the world to show the supremacy of the Universe.
On the west of the Qinian Hall, there is the biggest lilac forest in Beijing. Built in 1421, Zhongshan Park is a former imperial garden from the Ming Dynasty (1368－1644). It is located west of Tian’anmen square in the heart of the inner city and was a site of the former Altar of Land and Harvest, visited biannually by the emperors. After 1911, the site became a park and was renamed in 1928 in honor of Sun Yat-sen, who is considered the father of modern China. The park covers an area of 60 acres and features many traditional Chinese courtyards and halls. Every year a Tulip Garden Party is held here, presenting billions of colorful tulips.
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